Wayne March, Sicamous Eagles general manager

KIJHL rejects northern expansion

Travel costs influence vote against Quesnel addition

Quesnel’s Parallel Sports Group’s bid to bring a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) expansion franchise to Quesnel was once again turned down by the league.

Matt Kolle, who spearheaded the initiative, says he attended league meetings on Jan. 13 and 14, and presented the group’s bid to the KIJHL governors.

They voted it down, with 16 governors against, and three for, expansion. This is the second time the league has shut down Parallel Sports Group’s expansion bid. Parallel also applied in January 2017, along with a group from Williams Lake.

Sicamous Eagles general manager Wayne March supports the KIJHL’s decision to turn down the northern expansion. He said it may be feasible at some point in the future, but the cost is too much for current KIJHL teams to bear at this time.

“The cost of doing that is horrendous and one of the big things they had to look at was… There are some teams struggling in our league and you can’t put any more burden of expense on them travelling up there,” said March. “I think a couple of years down the road, it could happen, but now, until things are better in the league….

“At this point in time I’m not in favour of it.”

Despite another setback, Kolle says he is not done with the idea of bringing Junior B hockey to Quesnel.

“The feeling I got in the meetings was that the KIJHL governors do believe KIJHL hockey will eventually operate in Quesnel and Williams Lake. Right now, though, in their minds they are hesitant to take that first step because it presents change and change is unknown.

“They seem to know its the right step, but are just struggling to take it. I believe the first step was taken when the 100 Mile House Wranglers were granted their franchise, and what happens next is actually a natural progression for another division,” comments Kolle.

Following the group’s first bid, Kolle and his colleagues began a campaign to show the KIJHL that Quesnel is the right place for a team.

As part of that campaign, the Kamloops Storm have been playing regular-season games in Quesnel this season, with Storm general manager Barry Dewar on board with Kolle in believing that Quesnel is the right place for a Junior B team.

KIJHL president Bill Ohlhausen and other league governors attended games in West Fraser Centre in November, and were impressed with Quesnel’s arena. Ohlhausen said at the time, however, that the decision falls to the membership.

With files by Lachlan Labere, Eagle Valley News.

Just Posted

CVSAR team submitted photo
CVSAR calls have doubled

CVSAR responds to various emergencies

Logo of Election BC
Election candidates adapt to pandemic

COVID-19 protocols make for unique campaign

Submitted photo of Manny Osborne-Paradis
Manny Osborne-Paradis retires after 16 years of World Cup ski racing

One of Canada’s most accomplished skiers shifts his focus to family time, school time

Photo of the owners of KaBre Candle & Bath co, Brenda Valer and Kayle Prichard, by Camille Aubin
New business in town: KaBre Candle & Bath co

Where to find your candle and bath product

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read